Workers have a right to a just wage. Labor is not
simply a commodity traded on the open market nor is it a just wage
determined simply by the level the market will sustain. Every working
person has the right to secure a better life.
It is one of the consequences of the way power is
distributed in a free-market economy that employers frequently possess
greater bargaining power than employees in the negotiation of wage
agreements. Such unequal power often presses workers into a choice
between inadequate wage and no wage at all. The provision of a wage
sufficient to support a family in dignity is necessary to prevent
the exploitation of workers. The dignity of workers also requires
adequate health care, insurance for old age or disability; sage
and healthy work environments, rest and periodic holidays. These
provisions are essential if workers are to be treated as persons
rather than simply as "factor of production."
Justice, not charity, demands such minimum guarantees.
Unions provide an institutional means to these guarantees. Their
purpose is to secure rights to fair wage and working conditions.
Trade Unions express our social nature as human beings and manifest
the human need for solidarity.
Workers should not be intimidated or
denied the right to form unions to achieve dignity in the workplace
and to secure their rights to fair wages and working conditions.
Collective bargaining between labor and management and the accountability
of management to shareholders give institutional recognition to
the contributions of all and provide at least minimal means for
the sharing of power within firms. Without collective bargaining
even minimal rights are in jeopardy.
"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men were
created equal; that they are enowed by their creator with certain
inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments
are instituted among men, deriving their just powers form the consent
of the governed
Declaration of independence, 1776
As a union, we make progress together, by pooling our strengths.
The UAW"S strength is derived from our membership, our leadership
and our programs. We have many resources, but Education is our number
one tool. The UAW has pioneered in the concept of family education.
Our Constitution mandates local Unions to establish education committ4ees.
Our International Education Department is funded by a percentage
of dues money. We have programs for staff, local union leadership,
rank and file membership and new hires to maintain an informed membership.
As a union we are in politics through our Community
Action Program (UAW- CAP), not as a matter of choice, but out of
Corporate interests have powerful political lobbyists,
which buy and manipulate legislation to protect their interests.
To protect and advance the interest of UAW members
and their families, the UAW has our political arm UAW-CAP. The UAW
is not only deeply committed to securing the maximum benefits for
our members at the bargaining table, but we are also determined
to win the enactment of legislation that will improve the quality
of life in the communities where our families live.
We are determined to elect legislators with a strong moral sense
of justice who seek to enact laws that benefit the working people
of our country. There is no way to separate politics from the size
of the paycheck, from contract gains or the chances for peace among
There is no way to separate politics from every
phase of your life. The whole country, not just unions, but also
the democratic process itself, testifies to that unavoidable truth.
Working people have moved up out of the sub-human miseries of the
early industrial age to higher levels of material well being as
part of the political movement of society towards a democracy in
which political power, once controlled by the rich and privileged,
is shared more and more by citizens of all economic levels.
I want you to know and understand why we take part
in election campaigns, in national political conventions; in registration
and get-out-the-vote drives; why we lobby in Washington, D.C. and
our state capitols. We work for the needs of our communities for
full employment, quality education, national health care, decent
housing, a clean environment and more
A single interest for
a privileged few? Definitely NOT!!!
Through the mandate of our membership,
politics is our "business" as well as collective bargaining.
The stakes are high- the future of our children and our country
are on the line.
ORGANIZE, EDUCATE & PARTICIPATE IN MAKING YOUR MEMBERSHIP
STONGER BY REMEMBERING WHERE WE HAVE BEEN AND SHARING THAT INFORMATION